February 11, 2021

Sir David Adjaye. An inspiration.  

Sir David Adjaye. An inspiration.  

Sir David Adjaye is a man who uses his immense talents to build, inspire and change perspectives, literally and figuratively.  From our humble view, he is a genius, a world-renowned architect who understands the power design has to move people and create change. During Black History Month, as we all look to celebrate and honor African Americans whose contributions make our world a better place, we would like to shine our light on Adjaye’s work and why he inspires us.  

 He is an icon in design and architecture, with breathtaking testaments to his craftsmanship stitched across the globe.  But what mesmerizes our senses is his evident passion for design witnessed by a diversified continuum of masterpieces ranging from private houses, furniture collections, product designs to major civic projects.   

People. Society. Design.  

An Adjaye design evokes an unmistakable visceral reaction. You can feel the passion he pours into his craft.  He connects with his projects in an intrinsically spiritual way, and with every unique and profoundly powerful project or piece, he brings us all into the story.  He helps us to connect to the beauty of, as he puts it, “memory, meaning and identity….to create structures conducive to positive forms of human transformation.” Simply put, he reels you into the heart of where true design gains its momentum, purpose.   

This is the part that resonates with us. Every person, everything, every business has a why. We are all on a quest of some sort, to find our truth and share our successes. Adjaye’s ability to mold what’s possible drawing from our cemented existence is a remarkable talent that fosters holistic sustainability. He connects design to people and society magically, helping us to appreciate what’s relevant and meaningful. His approach is so authentically right and naturally just, one can’t help but admire him on so many levels.  

Knoll and Adjaye. An epic collection.   

Of course, we believe furniture should make a statement.  But when your work becomes a literal work of art, there are just no words. David Adjaye’s die-cast aluminum, painted and copper-plated chairs, designed for Knollare now part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Petrie European Sculpture Court.  The sculpted design is both an artistic and ergonomic invitation to explore contrasting styles and sink into the very seat of cultural and creative evolution.  

Read more about Adjaye’s design for Knoll featured in the MOMA here.

In 2015, the Adjaye Collection, a textile collaboration with Knoll’s Creative Director, Dorothy Cosonoas, debuted at NeoCon to rave reviews and awards. No surprise there. To say we were starstruck by this partnership would be a vast understatement.   In true Adjaye form, his design told a story, using this medium to weave to life the very essence of African geography, nature and culture.  Breathtaking! 

His collaborative spirit is part of his fabric. His appreciation of different perspectives seems to broaden his creative expressions, and the result is always inspiring and one-of-a-kind. This partnership was no exception. As an exclusive Knoll representative, we are immensely grateful for this opportunity to bring his work to our world.  

Read more about The Adjaye Collection here. 

Ruby City. A San Antonio Gem. 

San Antonio is home to one of our favorite Adjaye works, Ruby City. This dreamtolife vision of San Antonio artist, patron, and collector, Linda Pace is a literal shining example of his brilliance, a dramatically angled, sparkling crimson building featuring tinted concrete surfaces and embedded glass. As with all Adjaye’s project, he found a bigger purpose in this design, connecting deeply with Pace’s belief that art is a vital social force for good that should be shared. Through this unique design, he not only created a stunning house to house her priceless works of art, he captured the very essence of San Antonio’s bold, colorful and vibrant culture.  

The History. And the Future.  

Through Sir David Adjaye’s work, we can see that everything is designed for greatness.  If we can focus on purpose and see beyond the flaws in our structure, we can begin to see and bring out the best in all people, places and things.   As leaders in Austin, we all have a responsibility to do good by our community and environment. We can help lead the charge for change.  Appreciation is one thing, and it’s a big thing. But advancement is where we really need to strive 

Learn more about the movement to advance the amazing work of black designers and artists here. 

Learn what black decorators want you to know about navigating the design business today here.



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